European Development Days 2019 (EDD19), convened by the European Commission, will bring the development community together under the overarching theme, ‘Addressing Inequalities: Building a World Which Leaves No One Behind’.
The EDD19 agenda is organized around three main themes: why inequalities matter for sustainable development; understanding the structural causes of inequalities; and working better together through more effective policies to address inequalities.
At the two day event Humana People to People will participate in a Lab Debate on Inequality of Opportunity which seeks to discuss the need for an expansion of the traditional TVET system to provide skills development for young people who are often excluded from the formal system. Presentations will be centered on sharing best practices and strategies crucial in addressing the individual and socio-economic contexts affecting vulnerable young people. Further, deliberations will help to shed light on facilitating effective economic inclusion and equipping young people for decent work opportunities.
Besides taking part in the Lab Debate, Humana People to People will participate in the global village at stand 58 titled “Young People Can”, which is about improving Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) access, completion and transition into the labour market for vulnerable youth in rural areas.
Globally, 71 million young people are unemployed. Young women, disabled youth and those in rural areas are disproportionately represented in this figure. Young people make up 35% of the population across Sub Saharan Africa, and approximately 45% live in rural areas according to World Bank projections. Rural youth present an impressive opportunity for countries looking to take advantage of the demographic dividend, however they often lack access to quality and relevant opportunities for skills training.
Humana People to People members in six countries run skills training programmes in rural areas. Courses equip students with the capacity to create economic opportunities for themselves as they transition into the labour market. Young people are afforded an opportunity to acquire skills in a particular technical trade of their own choice as well as extensive entrepreneurship trainings and, where possible, work attachments in local businesses. The trainings, although in social development concepts, are integrated as an element of fighting the effects of poverty and are much a focal point within the seven vocational training schools located in Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Additionally, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo run special skills training programmes responding to the lower secondary school students and young women, respectively. Over 1,600 youth graduate from the seven vocational training schools every year.
As Humana People to People responds to the principal inequality of economic opportunities for youth in rural areas, its skills training programmes integrate cross cutting issues such as gender equality, reproductive health and disability inclusion. The vocational skills training programmes directly contribute to the 2030 Agenda and EU development priorities. All courses are nationally accredited and their development approach involves extensive collaboration with government, private sector and communities in identifying synergies between youth interests and local skills demand.